Suffolk landowner is major BNP donor

ONE of the biggest individual cash donors to the British National Party is a Suffolk landowner, it has emerged.

Anthony Bond

ONE of the biggest individual cash donors to the British National Party is a Suffolk landowner, it has emerged.

Charles Wentworth, who lives at Friston Hall, Friston, near Aldeburgh, has donated more than �38,000 to the far-right party since 2006.

According to The Electoral Commission website, Mr Wentworth donated �38,263 in six cash payments between October 21, 2006 and October 29, 2007.

The largest individual payment was for �9,763 and the smallest was for �5,000.

When contacted by the EADT, Mr Wentworth, 52, declined to comment.

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But speaking to a national newspaper, Mr Wentworth said he believed that Britain was “overloaded” and so joined and helped fund the party.

He said: “I'm not vile or odious - the adjectives they always attach to the BNP.

“I don't agree with everything they're saying on this, but I'm sure you get die-hard Labour supporters who don't agree with every policy their party has. Or Liberals or Tories.”

His wife, Zorka, 39, whose mother is from Kosovo and father from Serbia, added: “He's not a racist, I'm not a racist.”

BNP leader Nick Griffin grew up in north Suffolk and went to the fee-paying Woodbridge School but Mr Wentworth said he did not have a long-standing association with him, and only met him at a party rally a few years ago.

The Wentworth name has links to the village of Friston and nearby Aldeburgh back to the 18th Century with the family having owned around 100 cottages and farmhouses in the area.

Mr Wentworth lives at the large Friston Hall and also owns Friston Village Hall and the village green. His farm in Friston is 660 acres.

Mary Wright, honorary secretary of Friston Village Hall Management Committee, said that Mr Wentworth had thrown a Christmas party for the village's children in the hall for the past couple of years.

She said: “I have had very few dealings with him because the parish council has a lease from Mrs Vernon-Wentworth, his mother, and under that the management committee was set up but I do not have any dealings with Mr Wentworth himself.

“Everybody knows the name because the name Wentworth has been associated with Friston and Aldeburgh for donkey's years.”

When asked what she thought villagers may think of Mr Wentworth's links to the BNP she replied:

“I really do not know. I take no notice of what politics everybody is interested in and I think lots of people here are like that.”

A parish councillor from the village declined to comment on Mr Wentworth's links to the BNP but said: “He does support the events in the village.”